Post by Dave Thatcher on Sept 12, 2016 7:01:21 GMT
I have the owner of IMA visiting me for three days this month, we are going to start work on some exciting projects.
One of the items on the task list is DIY kits. The factory can produce pre cut plates for any style. Zunari to kote.
This opens the door for home builders, and cuts out the huge grey area of the unknown in terms of authenticity. My role is to oversee the manufacture of the blanks, I want to see a true gendai armour that is scaled to fit us gaijin.
Dave, what do you mean by "send in the wrong direction"? That DIY does not necessarily mean you have to make everything yourself...?
David, think about how you found this forum. You wanted some help. Our forum, Tousando and others can only do so much. Photographs and advice sometimes just cant cut it as you need some form of hands on experience to make katchu.
I've always liked Bryants site, it has so much useful information, but it can also send people on a wild goose chase of sorts. How many people have fallen at the first hurdle after painstakingly making hundreds of iyozane plates only to discover that the odoshi-no-ana is too big?
I built my first armour when I was at school after recording Shogun for reference on the VCR.
What i'm doing now with Iron Mountain has been an ambition I've had for decades, to be able to provide whatever parts of an armour someone would need in gendai scale, 100% wearable. This in my view opens the door to discovering armour and eventually collecting antiques.
Here is a happy snap of some of the parts I've pulled out the box. 100% customisable.
Ok, I understand now what you meant. I've been excited to see where this Iron Mountain thing would be going ever since you mentioned it for the first time. I definitley do like what I see! Ordering a zunari kabuto kit and assembling it myself (which is something I can totally imagine myself doing) sounds like a great compromise between a) having to find/build a smithy, trial and erroring all the way to a bunch of plates that create an ok looking helmet and b) buying a kabuto that will likely be both expensive and not quite matching my armour... So, to cut it short, all the best for this project!
Post by Dave Thatcher on Sept 13, 2016 22:29:10 GMT
FFS. We have all this great technology at our fingertips, yet for some reason what one types is autocorrected only to become unintelligible babble. I amended the above to make some sort of sense. Bloody apple.
Seeing how there were also some kikko in the box, I wonder if you and IMA considered making scales as well...? Not that I'd need them
Here's an idea: what about rivets? I know that you can find and buy full rivets easily, but so far I have no idea how good they are for katchu... Also, fancy washers for said rivets will likely be a problem for those who lack the skill to make such delicate things. Anything planned in that direction? Maybe?
Also, it would be nice to see more pieces of armor like manchira, manju no wa, kogake, wakikibiki and their kote seems to need more kusari (hana gusari, why not?) and more plates but this is an humble opinion of mine.
Last, I see that they only use iron; in historical samurai armor, from what I've understand in the introduction of The Watanabe Art Musuem Samurai Armour CollectionVolume I and by some scientific papers, steel was effectively used in tosei gusoku. It would be nice for the top tier armor having steel plates. But I've seen that they were making a niou dou... this is truly Amazing, one of the best style
Post by Dave Thatcher on Sept 30, 2016 6:32:35 GMT
Gents, a press release will follow.
All I can say is that this has the green light for kits and odoshi. I'll also be working directly with IMA to help improve their products.
What you have to understand is that most DIY buyers cannot make traditional armour using traditional materials. Also there has to be a compromise on materials and production via the factory in order to maintain commercial viability. The historical card has to be discounted to a degree as these products are 100% gendai reproduction parts aimed at the enthusiast, not the die hard katchushi, whom there are but a few. It always amuses me when a DIY project starts out as a traditional build only to be spray painted with car products during the final stages. Putting this into perspective DIY kits just took a massive leap forward. The buyer can purchase whatever they need with the freedom to bespoke as little or as much as they feel confident too. They are what they are, and they are fun. They are not and never will be sold as suitable replacements for restoration of authentic and historic katchu.
Hi Dave, is this project still running? I know you are probably concentrating on your auction enterprise right now. I would certainly be interested in a DIY kit to build a kabuto (I don't really have room for a full gusoku).
Luca, Whilst we know that some armours were made with steel in them, almost all are either rawhide or pure iron. When I was working we did a lot of metallurgy on pieces of Japanese armour. Over the years I had a pile of odd plates and pieces which our Scientific Officer, Dr. David Starley, sectioned and examined. Of all the pieces only one had a steel facing welded to iron, the rest were pure ferrite (in fact very pure with almost no slag inclusions). This included a plate from a Sengoku era dou. Even more surprising was the fact that English arrowheads from the 15th C. were iron with just a narrow strip of relatively low carbon steel brazed on to form the cutting edge. Steel was a very scarce and valuable product in the past and at best much of it was really 'steeled iron'. Although I have not seen these IMA items, it is obvious that the shapes are good and would form an excellent basis for a project. Having tried to make a zunari kabuto in the past I know how difficult it is to get the two side plates symmetrical not to mention shaping the peak. Ian B.
Thank you a lot Ian for your clarifications. Steel was a luxury at the time, yet armor proved to be effective despite being made of raw materials or recycled ones.
I was indeed refering to the best quality armor, and the reason why I made the statement of using steel is that i've seen their test and I've seen some bad dents made by a sword; since their armor is sold as a "combat ready" armor, I was thinking that perhaps is better to have better protection to avoid injuries; as far as my understanding goes (I might be wrong here), modern iron has a VHP hardness of 60 while (at least from the metallurgical papers I've read about japanese armor) historical pieces could reach more than 300 VHP.
But for aesthetic and accuracy I think their products are among the best replicas available (My personal opinion)
May I ask which was the average and the highest hardness of the armor you have seen? I'm also interested (if you have time of course, since this is also a little bit off topic here) on the steel used in Europe at the same time, was it considerably better compared to the one that the Japanese used? Or did they also used more iron than steel?
Luca, I known some later armours (16th c.) from Italy, Germany and the Royal Armouries at Greenwich were 'steeled' and quenched but it wasn't carbon steel of the quality we understand by the term. Dr Alan Williams of the Wallace Collection had done a vast amount of work on the metallurgy of armour. Try googling his name. Ian